Imagine him & Martinez: ETH could form menacing Man Utd duo with “underrated” £26m gem

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Given that they have strengthened other parts of their squad, Manchester United will be eager to recruit a new defender before the summer transfer market closes in just three weeks.

Erik ten Hag has so far succeeded in luring Andre Onana, Mason Mount, and Rasmus Hojlund to Old Trafford, but with Harry Maguire seemingly headed for West Ham United, may Erik ten Hag’s top objective be another center-back?

Along with Benjamin Pavard of Bayern Munich, Jean-Clair Todibo of France has been identified as a top target for Ten Hag, and the Dutchman may need to make a significant choice in the coming weeks.

Possibly joining Manchester United is Benjamin Pavard.

In a story earlier this week for Sky Germany, Florian Plettenberg said: “Benjamin #Pavard: Concrete conversations with @ManUtd at this level! All sides are now negotiating a verbal agreement.

Given Pavard’s versatility as a defender, Ten Hag is advocating for him. In August, Pavard wants to depart FC Bayern.

Pavard is obviously interested in leaving the Bundesliga giants, therefore a price of roughly €30 million (£26 million) should be sufficient to persuade Bayern to sell before the window closes.

What is the ideal position for Benjamin Pavard?

The defender’s contribution to France’s World Cup victory in Russia five years ago is likely what people will remember him for most fondly.

His incredible goal against Argentina was chosen as the tournament’s best goal, and it helped them win 4-3 in the end.

He represented France for the vast majority of those games at right-back, where he played the entire competition. He did, however, frequently play centre back for his club team last season, so Ten Hag might use him in this capacity should he sign with United.

The 27-year-old has so far contributed to 28 goals in his club career, and while he obviously enjoys the freedom to go around the wing on the right side of defence, his performances in 2022/23 at the centre of the defender were exceptional.

In the past 12 months, Pavard has combined defensive prowess with a potent offensive threat by ranking in the top 10% for progressive passes, progressive carries, and touches in the attacking penalty area while also ranking in the top 6% for tackles per 90 among the major five European leagues.

If he were to transfer to the Premier League, he and Lisandro Martinez could undoubtedly create a strong defensive partnership at the centre of the United defence.

When compared to positional peers over the past 12 months, the Argentinean also placed in the top 6% for tackles per 90 and the top 5% for blocks per 90, and he might excel with Pavard.

The World Cup champion joined the Theatre of Dreams from Ajax last summer and immediately made an impact at the centre of the defence for Ten Hag’s team. Club great Patrice Evra praised the 25-year-old as “one of the best signings” in “years” at the venue.

If Pavard comes to England, Ten Hag may use the two as his first-choice center-back partnership because Pavard plainly enjoys moving forward as much as possible and knows Martinez can cover for him efficiently.

Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Bayern Munich, even praised him as “underrated,” but considering his performance since the start of last season, the former Stuttgart player has developed into a good centre defender who might help the Old Trafford team.

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